standardized-testing 4

Why so Testy?!

Every so often news headlines alert us that the U.S. ranks “below average” in reading test scores, lagging behind other countries, like China, which consistently rank at or near the top. It’s probable that we’ll receive the same news again this spring after many schools dutifully administer standardized tests. Why? Because, as a whole, our education system continues […]

Curiosity 2

MO-tivation, not Less

If children are interested in some activity, they will be curious about it, reach out for it, explore it, and if the available support is there, will make progress as they are trying it out. If they maintain their motivation, they will eventually master it to a level of their satisfaction. They will then move on to […]

G and M 2

A Literal World of Hippo Possibilities

Carrying home from the library a tote full of books for children is a singularly powerful demonstration for small ones how this reading thing is really important. It also can be just another pile of unrelated books about random topics for bedtime wind-down. Given the vast range of book topics for small children that invite […]

Magical books

And the Best Gifts Ever are…

In many countries around the globe, it’s the gift giving time of year when our attentions drift toward how we can delight our loved ones with a thoughtful gift. I know this will come as a surprise, but my favorite gifts are books because they are a gift you can open again and again. Books also make […]

CITE 3

When Science and Literacy Collide

This last week I attended the Literacy Research Association conference, the largest literacy research-focused conference held each year in the U.S. The program was packed with hundreds of presentations, poster sessions, round table discussions, and special interest groups directed by the luminaries and newcomers in the varied fields associated with reading and writing. I share […]

BE Kind 4

“Be Kind” and Other Words That Matter

One recent morning my wife and I drove to an appointment in Eminence, Ky., just outside of Louisville. It was a gorgeous start to a new day with the east ablaze with “sky blue pink” (as my wife calls it) behind a single bank of fluffy clouds. As we wound through the countryside we passed a […]

Hoarding 1

Permission Granted: Become a Hoarder

Do you know a hoarder? There was a television series sometime back called “Hoarders: Buried Alive” that explored the people who can’t bring themselves to give or throw unneeded things away. We have a dear friend that is a hoarder. Walt is a person who buys and sells things at flea markets around town. However, […]

Get Buff. Read.

Some children don’t learn to love books and reading in school. Estimates are as high as 25 percent of children grow up as non-readers. It’s not that they can’t read’ they just don’t. Superintendents might swear their youngsters have gone through “good” schools. However, if the kids from good schools don’t love books and reading, how can […]

NCFL Capture

Family-Focused Learning Support

This week the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) held their 30th annual convention here in Louisville, Ky. NCFL is an organization that focuses on multi-generational learning for promoting literacy, mathematics and much more, since it expanded its areas of service after rebranding from the original National Center for Family Literacy. NCFL has projects operating in nearly 40 states […]

Magical books

What’s Your Pick Up Line?

  Whatcha reading? Conversation between strangers builds bridges. In these troubled times, initiating an interchange focused on a neutral or shared interest can quickly create a positive tone, too seldom enjoyed in the past few years. How’s your book? There are simple book-focused questions that can easily open a conversation between two strangers. The open sharing […]